Tag Archives: Gladiator

My Ten Favorite Movie Characters

I. Love. Movies! That’s been the tagline of my blog since its inception in December 2016. And what is the basis of a great movie? An awesome character.

Every movie’s driving force are the characters that lead the story to other dimensions and have you asking for more. If a movie is awful there’s a good chance that the main character probably annoyed the heck out of you. And if a movie is phenomenal it’s very likely that the film had some pretty fantastic characters involved.

Today, I will share a tentative list of my ten favorite movie characters of all time (tentative because it could change at any second) and in no particular order. So, here goes.

Harry Potter

Growing up, my first love wasn’t Star Wars, it was Harry Potter. There still hasn’t been quite as amazing a children’s fantasy story brought to the big screen as these movies and at its beating heart lies Harry Potter himself, perfectly portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe.

Since the shockingly young age of eleven he had to carry an entire franchise on his shoulders and he did his job swimmingly. Yes, he was a kid, but he was a brave kid tackling impossible odds in a terrifying world full of monsters, creepy wizards, and a particular revenge-stricken monster named Voldemort.

His story never grows weak, the plot only thickens, and by the end of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban alone, there’s no doubt in my mind that he is undoubtedly one of my favorite movie characters of all time.

Continue reading My Ten Favorite Movie Characters

Ranking the Best Picture-Winning Movies I’ve Seen; from Worst to Best (Updated)

The last time I wrote this post I had only seen 13 movies that had the honorable award of Best Picture. Now I’ve seen 20. So, with no further delay, here is my updated ranking of the Best-Picture winning movies that I’ve seen. Enjoy!

29. Hamlet

1949: Hamlet | The 92 films to win Best Picture at the Oscars ...

I’ve been shying away from Shakespeare for over a decade. The iconic plays, however, are seared into my brain after years of Jeopardy displaying entire segments dedicated to the works by Shakespeare. Last night, I decided to take my first step into a larger world concerning Shakespeare with the 1945 Oscar-winning film, Hamlet.

At first I was kind of enjoying the film…that is until the dramatic prose reached the enth degree of annoyance. Spoken in the ultra-fancy writing of the sixteenth century, I found myself in desperate need of a translator at times and then at other times I just didn’t even bother to care about what they were talking about. What pushed it over the edge for me was Ophelia and Gertrude whose excessive crying had me inwardly gritting my teeth and rolling my eyes.

After a while, I found the film to be so extremely boring that I fell asleep. I wish I could say this movie made me a Shakespeare fan…it didn’t.

28. Out of Africa

Out of Africa Review | Movie - Empire

Boring, boring, boring! Totally predictable, the sprawling scenery wasn’t captured prettily enough to entice me in that sense of things, and by the conclusion, I couldn’t understand exactly why this film won Best Picture.

27. West Side Story

West Side Story (1961) Classic Film Series - Antioch on the Move

I really hoped I was going to love this musical. It wasn’t long before I realized this wasn’t my type of musical. The choreography for the Jets felt at times very corny, particularly all of the snapping. Geez! And the forbidden romance between Maria and Tony felt unrealistic considering that they had known each for only a day. Hmm…I just couldn’t get into this story but I’m hoping maybe Steven Spielberg’s interpretation will be more enjoyable.

26. Casablanca

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I’ve been hearing about Casablanca for years and so when I finally got the chance to watch it, I did. Unfortunately, it would end up being a disappointment. I’m all into movie love stories but this one did not grasp me in the way that I thought it would. As a modern woman, Ilsa Lund’s incessant crying and wanting to be with Rick Blaine–the man she had an affair with while her husband was away at war 😒–is just not my thing.

Now, I will say, I loved the writing. So beautiful, so concise, the screenwriters did a great job conveying this story in a perfect fashion. And Rick Blaine was an amazing character to follow in this tumultuous section of his life.

While this movie will never sit in the list of my favorite movies I am very happy that I have seen it.

25. Gandhi

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I watched Gandhi several years ago and I liked it. It deserved all of the praise it could get as it told the story of such an inspiring and motivational human being who walked this earth. While it was a well-told story that I appreciate being brought to the big screen I found it to be kind of boring. Hence, it’s twelfth on this list.

24. The Hurt Locker

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I don’t think I’ve seen The Hurt Locker all the way through at one time but I have seen this movie enough to know it’s good but it isn’t great. Every time I’ve seen this film I’ve wondered to myself, “How did this movie get Best Picture?” So yeah, it’s better than these two other movies beneath it but it’s nowhere near as good as most of the rest of the films on this list.

23. Green Book

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You know, Green Book is a good movie with a well-written story that is meant to provide heartwarming joy to its viewers. In other words, it’s a feel-good movie to watch during the fall but it’s no Best Picture-worthy film in my opinion. Will I ever watch it again? No. Will I remember it? Yes. I’m glad I can say I’ve seen it but it was definitely a safe pick for Best Picture.

22. Unforgiven

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Starring the Country-Western legend himself, Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven is a Western that has a darker side. Considering that it won Best Picture I was expecting something a little, well, great. The movie is good and it takes the shooting of men a little more seriously than most Westerns, but ultimately, it’s kind of boring.

21. Annie Hall

Annie Hall at 40: 15 things you didn't know about the Woody Allen ...

This is an expectedly witty film, becoming what I feel is the template for romantic comedies of this nature following this story. However, it definitely stings knowing that this beat Star Wars for Best Picture when Star Wars would become far more iconic. Honestly, I knew nothing about Annie Hall until I watched it for the first time over a month ago.

20. From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity

While this wasn’t a film that utterly wowed me it did deserve Best Picture for its, at the time, controversial look into the lives of military soldiers in a fictional light. I can definitely say it’s one of the best military films I’ve seen…but honestly, I haven’t seen many.

19. Argo

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Argo is one of those movies that you don’t think is going to be that good until you watch it and realize, “Wow. This is an amazing movie.” Ben Affleck does an incredible job conveying the tenseness of the various situations through the lenses while Oscar-winning screenwriter Chris Terrio did a remarkable job keeping the story engaging where it could’ve easily fallen flat.

18. The French Connection

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Before you had The Godfather there was The French Connection, a film about a pair of New York City cops (played by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider) who discover a drug-smuggling operation that involves the French. It’s a really good film that is undoubtedly well-made and I’m glad I’ve seen it. It’s no Godfather but heck, it’s not bad either.

17. Parasite

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Yes, Parasite is unlike any other movie that I’ve seen but I didn’t find the film to be as thrilling as some suggest. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s well-written, well-directed, and points an accusatory finger at the wealthy for their prejudice toward poorer individuals, but compared to the other movies on this list, its light is far dimmer.

16. The King’s Speech

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No, there are no explosions, the drama-level is rather low, but the disappearance of these abundant aspects often found in cinema didn’t make this movie any less intriguing. The King’s Speech is a profoundly beautiful biography of a man who learned, through a heartwarming friendship, the lesson of perseverance and belief.

15. Driving Miss Daisy

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I never expected to like this film. I don’t just like it. I love it. It’s way better than Green Book and it made me cry. This is a great movie to win Best Picture.

14. Braveheart

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Braveheart is a movie my Mommy’s been talking about for years and when I finally watched it I was more than impressed. While it can be a bit tedious during the massive midsection of the film the end of the film is where the magic is. What happens to William Wallace is so heartbreaking that I ugly cried for ten minutes straight and woke up the next morning still with a headache. This is a great movie.

13. No Country for Old Men

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For a while No Country for Old Men was my favorite movie of all time…and then I watched it a second time. You know those films that are REALLY GOOD the first time but lose steam after the second viewing. This is one of those movies. I can’t fault it for being one of those films, and it truly is a spectacular movie that will haunt you to your bones, but seeing how it isn’t rewatchable I pushed it down this far in this list.

12. The Godfather

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You wanna talk about iconic, The Godfather is synonymous with gangster lore for a reason. Michael Corleone’s story is both tragic and triumphant (and slightly horrifying) all in one. And with the incredible cast, this movie not only soars but will remain in your memory for years to come.

11. An American in Paris

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Becoming the first musical to win an Oscar for Best Picture An American in Paris is a true gem. With incredibly choreographed dance routines and an outstanding musical score to boot An American in Paris has become not only one of my favorite musicals of all time but one of my favorite films of all time, period.

10. Ben-Hur

Ben-Hur' 1959 Movie Review: Original Film | Hollywood Reporter

Epic!!! This 1959 spectacle is truly awe-inducing as it managed to truly bring to life a story larger than life. I thought this movie was going to be boring. It was anything but boring. From beginning to end, I found myself enthralled by a tale that never refrained from being as epic as it could be. And don’t get me started about the chariot race. It was absolutely incredible!

9. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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Whether we’re talking about the normal or the extended version of this film, The Return of the King is not only a satisfying conclusion to a ridiculously epic trilogy but it still stands as one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time.

8. The Silence of the Lambs

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The Silence of the Lambs is one of those films that is so disturbing you watch it once and you never want to watch it again. This is a PHENOMENAL movie, but like I said, it’s disturbing. I ended up watching it again with my family (my mother and sister were watching it for the first time) and I was bluntly reminded why this film is one, SO GOOD, and two, SO DISTURBING. And it’s really scary too by the way.

7. Rocky

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I’ve seen Rocky III more times than I count. I’ve only recently seen Rocky. I was not expecting this movie to be as good as it was and boy did it get to my emotions! I was not ready. There is a legitimate reason why Rocky is now an icon of not only Philadelphia but the United States as a whole. It’s a beautiful movie.

6. Million Dollar Baby

The Longer I Spend Writing About “Million Dollar Baby,” The ...

Have you ever watched a movie that brings sorrow to your very being? A film that strikes you so deep in your core that just looking at a picture of the movie makes you want to cry? That’s Million Dollar Baby. If you haven’t seen it I implore you to watch it.

It is undoubtedly one of Clint Eastwood’s best works as he found a way to bring to life a story quite unlike anything you’ve seen before. And no, this is not a female Rocky movie.

If you had told me I would rank Million Dollar Baby over Rocky a few months ago I wouldn’t have believed it but honestly, I am. This movie hooked me with its brilliant screenplay and its stark attention to detail and emotions. Such a beautiful movie.

5. Gladiator

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Gladiator is another movie that my Mommy has been telling me about for years and when I finally watched it I was quite “entertained” to say the least. It’s undoubtedly Russel Crowe’s greatest performance (well, to be fair I haven’t seen him in A Beautiful Mind yet) and his co-stars are just as phenomenal. Connie Nielson and Joaquin Phoenix play the heck out of their roles as Lucilla and Commodus. Lucilla is one of my favorite movie heroines of all time and Commodus is, I think, my most hated villain of all time. Gosh, he’s the worst!

All in all, I love this movie, and it gets better with every viewing.

4. The Sound of Music

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It’s rare to find a movie that you love wholeheartedly with every fiber of your being but this is definitely one of those films for me. I’ve seen it three times now and every viewing seems more magical than the last. The songs are magnificent and easy to sing along, the tale is beautifully told and leaves me in a river of tears, and the scenery paired with the stunning sets and tremendous outfits only adds to the entire experience.

It’s undoubtedly one of my favorite musicals of all time.

3. Lawrence of Arabia

Back Catalog Review: Lawrence of Arabia – Benefits of a Classical ...

Lawrence of Arabia could easily be one of the most boring films I ever laid eyes on. Instead, it is one of the most utterly captivating with nearly no equal in its visual prowess. I would’ve never thought a movie set mostly in the desert could be so freaking beautiful but director David Lean showed the sheer magnificence of the desert in a way I have seen no other director capture.

And Peter O’Toole’s performance as T.E. Lawrence is just as captivating, his stark blue eyes fiercely compelling you to look at him in wondrous awe as he delivers one of the best performances I’ve ever seen in a movie of this scale. It’s quite unfortunate that this film came out in 1962, the same year that Gregory Peck would win Best Actor for To Kill a Mockingbird, because he deserved the win as well. What a powerful, powerful movie!

2. A Beautiful Mind

John Nash, 'A Beautiful Mind' Mathematician, Dies in Car Crash ...

I definitely did not expect A Beautiful Mind to be my favorite Russel Crowe film over Gladiator but it is. When I first watched this movie I thought I knew what it was about. I had figured that it was a film about Russel Crowe’s character helping a young boy with a disability discover the beauty of math. So imagine my surprise when I saw what the film was really about.

I was BLOWN AWAY! My eyes were riveted to the screen, I kept trying to predict how the movie was going to end and it kept continuing to surprise me. By the film’s conclusion, I was in a puddle of my own tears as I found myself absolutely moved by this beautiful true story.

And undoubtedly, Russel Crowe delivered his best performance in this movie. Wow, he did a great job.

1. Forrest Gump

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Forrest Gump is one of those movies that you watch and are immediately drawn into within mere minutes. This movie will make you laugh and boy it’ll make you cry. Just thinking about certain scenes makes me start getting teary.

Forrest Gump is one of the greatest movies ever made and undoubtedly, after long hard thought, my favorite movie on this list.

Oh man, I love movies. I am very determined to one day watch every single Best Picture-winning film which will be very, very fun. Until then, at least I’ve seen twenty-eight, and the list is climbing. 😁

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a tremendous day.

A Movie Ranking: Russel Crowe

Russel Crowe is an amazing actor. I didn’t truly know as much until I saw his performance in A Beautiful Mind which completely blew my mind. (He should’ve won Best Actor.) Considering that I’ve been watching a lot of movies starring the New Zealand actor lately I figured he would be the perfect person for this week’s A Movie Ranking. Enjoy!

6. The Mummy

The Mummy (2017)

This movie is horrible. So horrible that I can’t believe an actor as great as Russel Crowe would even think of being in this film. It’s truly baffling. Continue reading A Movie Ranking: Russel Crowe

That Marvelous Costume: ‘Gladiator’

Gladiator is clearly one of the best movies ever made, delivering powerful performances by Russel Crowe, Connie Nielson, and Joaquin Phoenix, fantastic action that felt legitimately epic, and a tremendous story that one can’t help being riveted by. But, like the last two films that I have highlighted for this series, Gladiator also shines for its costumes, costumes that would go on to win Janty Yates her only Oscar for Best Costume Design, and deservedly so.

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You have the stunning dresses Lucilla wears and the imposing garments Commodus dons as the new Roman Emperor. Continue reading That Marvelous Costume: ‘Gladiator’

Ranking the Best Picture-Winning Movies I’ve Seen; from Worst to Best

The last time I wrote this post I had only seen 13 movies that had the honorable award of Best Picture. Now I’ve seen 20. So, with no further delay, here is my updated ranking of the Best-Picture winning movies that I’ve seen. Enjoy!

20. Casablanca

casablancarick.jpg

I’ve been hearing about Casablanca for years and so when I finally got the chance to watch it, I did. Unfortunately, it would end up being a disappointment. I’m all into movie love stories but this one did not grasp me in the way that I thought it would. As a modern woman, Ilsa Lund’s incessant crying and wanting to be with Rick Blaine–the man she had an affair with while her husband was away at war 😒–is just not my thing.

Now, I will say, I loved the writing. So beautiful, so concise, the screenwriters did a great job conveying this story in a perfect fashion. And Rick Blaine was an amazing character to follow in this tumultuous section of his life.

While this movie will never sit in the list of my favorite movies I am very happy that I have seen it. Continue reading Ranking the Best Picture-Winning Movies I’ve Seen; from Worst to Best

Ranking the Oscar-Winning Movies I’ve Seen; from Worst to Best

As a moviemaker, you want to be known for telling outstanding stories that drive people to the movie theater to watch your film. Some movies, while they may never garner recognition for Best Picture, go on to make billions of dollars as it provides joy to the masses. Some films may not get the incredible box-office results as others but are movies you will never forget. And then there are the flicks that are a dream for moviemakers. The flicks that not only get nominated for Best Picture but win. Today I’m ranking all of the Best Picture-winning movies I’ve seen from worst to best. Enjoy!

13. Casablanca

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I’ve been hearing about Casablanca for years and so when I finally got the chance to watch it, I did. Unfortunately, it would end up being a disappointment. I’m all into movie love stories but this one did not grasp me in the way that I thought it would. As a modern woman, Ilsa Lund’s incessant crying and wanting to be with Rick Blaine–the man she had an affair with while her husband was away at war 😒–is just not my thing.

Now, I will say, I loved the writing. So beautiful, so concise, the screenwriters did a great job conveying this story in a perfect fashion. And Rick Blaine was an amazing character to follow in this tumultuous section of his life.

While this movie will never sit in the list of my favorite movies I am very happy that I have seen it. Continue reading Ranking the Oscar-Winning Movies I’ve Seen; from Worst to Best